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forward the president is going to take this broad based approach to making an argument for making communities safer. today he was really making an economic argument saying we have to invest in families, in communities, in social services so that young people can get off to a good start and not be enticed by violence and gun violence. so i think that moving forward you will continue to hear president obama make these types of broad-based arguments in terms of the policy and getting stiffer gun legislation passed. you also heard president obama saying some of the measures he is calling for deserve a vote. realistically does he expect a reinstatement of the ban on assault weapons? probably not. he will continue to call for a vote but i think today is an indication that he's going to continue to press for other things like improving mental health services, early childhood education, and alongside that continue to fight for the legislation in terms of what is realistic, probably most likely getting universal background
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checks. that seems to have the broadest base of support at this time, martin, but we're really getting a window into the tactic this president will take moving forward as he does try to combat gun violence. again, getting personal today. it reminded me of his state of the union address when he had that rousing finish at the end which was also quite emotional when he spoke to the victims of gun violence and said they all deserve a vote when it comes to these stiffer gun laws. martin? >> thank you so much. the president has finished speaking at hyde park academy school in chicago. thank you so much for watching our broadcast this afternoon. chris matthews and "hardball" is next. cruising for a bruising. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. as butch cassidy once asked, who
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are these guys? what a ratty bunch. they spend their days holed up in the senate taking pot shots at the president. trying to bring down his defense chief. nasty as hell, they have nothing good to say for the country, only nasty words to spew about the people running it or hoping to. john mccain who served the country so admirably has become an angry fellow from dawn until dusk taking an occasional break to remember who he is and saying, enough of this when his new allies get out of hand. when ted cruz starts attacking the loyalty to america of one of mccain's fellow vietnam vets, a combat vet at that. the vicious ps is something we haven't seen before because of the combination of mccarthyism and this weird unconnectedness attacking chuck hagel, for example, because no one will give us info or anyone info about the benghazi situation even though hagel wasn't even in the government when benghazi happened. sick stuff. and it seems to be growing in inverse proportion to obama's popularity. the better he looks the worse these characters inhofe, cruz, mccain and lindsey graham are
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determined to look. did you notice the smile on john boehner's face sitting up there behind the president during the state of the union? if you did, you're imagining things. so afraid of the hard hating right of republicans these days of every stripe even boehner's scared to death of looking like he might like something barack obama had so say. to do that is to risk political death in these days. let's go at it. our guests are joy reid of the grio and michael steele, former chafer of the republican national committee. both are msnbc analysts and good ones. let's take a look at this. is this delay on the hagel vote about playing for time hoping new information comes out about them? "the new york times" reports today that anti-hagel groups are right now hoping for exactly that. quote, leaders of these groups said in interviews this they expected their efforts to include more phone calls urging conservative voters to tell their senators to vote no, new efforts to unearth embarrassing details from mr. hagel's past, and potentially a new round of
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television advertisements pressuring democrats to drop their support for him. michael steele, it used to be a president got his cabinet. >> yep. >> now when you want your own defense chief, you get the entire opposition party to the last man and woman voting against it in what i don't even get is one reason. i mean, if you ask all those republicans what do they do to filibuster this, they won't give you one answer. each one will come up with his own or her own little number. >> right. because there is no real reason to filibuster this nomination. i mean, the president has made his choice. he's coming off a very, very strong election, and, you know, as much as, you know, i may have an issue here or there with something that hagel said or did in the past, this is the president's choice. he's ultimately going to be accountable to the president, not to the republicans in the congress. and i think quite honestly mccain put it out there in the real. this is personal. it's not even political at this point. this is the fact that this man bucked the party establishment in 2007 in his views on the war. i think legitimately so.
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and the fact of the matter is so what? >> so they -- in other words they're saying he can't be president obama's defense chief because he agrees with barack obama on the war. >> yeah. >> well, i'm sorry, joy, that is the irony here. they're attacking him for being the guy who gets along with obama. president obama and chuck hagel agree on so many things they're actually friends. >> right. >> they have a positive view about the same things in the world. that's why he's going out and i think the president is sticking his neck out for this guy because he really wants him to be his defense chief. they agree on things. >> somebody pointed out to me that mccain said the statement back when he was a republican as if hagel is no longer a republican because he dares to agree with the high hiring him to be the defense chief. look, mccain i think did put it out there. >> okay. dwight eisenhower wasn't a republican either because he wasn't a hawk and he kept us out of indochina and the middle east and he took the heat for that because he was a guy who knew what was going on in the world. >> right. >> and didn't believe in flif russ wars. >> you're not sufficiently
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republican if you don't want to bomb iran. it was ironic when john mccain put it out there and said basically, you know what? chuck hagel was mean to president bush, he relentlessly criticize the iraq war. his fellow members of the senate thought he was not sufficiently loyal republican. that's pretty rich coming from john mccain who basically made it his life's work to oppose george w. bush. >> oh, i'm sorry, was it chuck hagel who said he had an illegitimate child with an african-american and that swhou produced a south asian young woman. that stuff about his wife being a drug addict. that was w's people. that was karl rove and that crowd. i don't know which of them did it but one of them did it yet he forgives those people and he says -- this must be some kind of weird transportation of emotion. yesterday john mccain said something truly remarkable as my friend here said, michael, about a moment of pure honesty. he exposed what's really behind his opposition to hagel. let's listen. >> there's a lot of ill will
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towards senator hagel because when he was a republican, he attacked president bush mercilessly. at one point said he was the worst president since herbert hoover, said that the surge was the worst blunder since the vietnam war, which is nonsense, and was very anti his own party and people. people don't forget that. >> you should have forgot the fact because he never did say he was the worst president since herbert hoover. wait until they start with you. >> exactly. >> who put mike mccain in charge of determining chuck hagel's fate. minority leader mitch mcconnell has deputized senator john mccain as the weather vain by which to judge when republicans should yield on the filibuster. that might be a confounding decision since john mccain seems to drift from one position to another. sometimes in matter of hours. on sunday mccain had this to say about the prospect of a filibuster against hagel. let's watch.
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>> we've never filibustered a presidential cabinet appointee and i don't think we should start here. >> well, on monday which is a day later of course, mccain was urging his colleagues on the armed services committee to vote on hagel's nomination say i believe he has fulfilled the rigorous requirements that the committee demands and by the next day, tuesday, he rebuked ted cruz for his harsh critique of hagel which i grae with. >> mr. hagel is an honorable man. he has served his country and no one on this committee at any time should impugn his character or his integrity. >> we're going to to some of cruz's mccarthyite statements in the next segment. tuesday night, hours matter, mccain introduced a new wrinkle with senators graham and eye yot. he wrote a letter to the white house requesting more information about the white house did during the benghazi attack. he told foreign policy magazine, quote, we need to know what the
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president's conversations were. i would vote no on cloture on thursday unless the information is provided. by tuesday -- actually by yesterday which almost every day of the week he's changed his mind, the white house had responded to his satisfaction but he still didn't vote for cloture. he still wouldn't vote to bring this matter of hagel's confirmation up to a vote and here is his latest. let's watch. >> there are still questions outstanding. i believe that senators have the right to have those questions answered. senator from south carolina and the senator from new hampshire had a response from the president today on the question that we had but there are other questions. >> like can you give us a copy of every speech you ever gave? can you give us a dollar for dollar assessment of every dollar you ever made. by the way, if you don't tell us we're going to accuse you of getting money from the north koreans. that's the way we will pay you. joy, you're younger than me i think by a lot of years. we're going to get it to this. i'm going to sell this 1ekd segment because we're going back.
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we went back and looked how joe mccarthy did it. the same techniques of innuendo. the same character assassination based on nothing that this guy is doing, this guy cruz, who i don't know what he's running for. people say attorney general. i don't know what job he's applying for. i don't know why he's ruining his career with this crap. your thoughts? >> he's not running for president because i think he was born in canada. you said earlier in your introduction that john mccain occasionally remembers who he is. i'm starting to agree with joe klein. this is who john mccain is. this is a man who is showing no principle other than pique. he's turned on as you showed his supposed friend chuck hagel, his supposed comrade in arms in matter of hours to decide to brook this rear guard effort to drum up dirt on this poor man who has been through i think enough at this point in terms of trying to get barack obama the defense secretary that he wants. and they've dragooned quelly ayotte into their little club because lieberman is gone. the three of them, the merry band of miskcreants standing in
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the way of this guy getting a vote. they're going to for tur that guy because he turned against the iraq war. >> i'm not as tough as you are today at least. we'll know the true color of mr. mccain's feelings about life and values when that right wing crowd inevitably turns on his friend lindsey graham. and you know they will. >> they will. >> they will. >> it will go to graham in the next primary fight in south carolina and he will have to stand up for his friend. that's when we'll know. >> and we will see that. that's why the bed you make right now, you're going to have to lie in it and there's going to be a lot of lonely republicans -- >> aflot of fleas. >> and a lot of lonely republicans. the point i take issue with with what the senator said, hague 'em offended the party. he's not running for the nomination of the party. he's not running for anything within the republican party. this is an appointment to be secretary of defense. and so all of the arguments that are being put up there against him make no cents because -- >> do you think there was a moment of odd candor. why would he admit that? >> remember, that was a party
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call at that time where the white house and the senate leadership needed everyone to rally around the direction they were taking and he stood alone. he said no, there is something wrong with this policy. there's something wrong -- >> and the country had more or less rejected that war by the 2006 election. >> didn't john mccain do exactly the same thing? wasn't that his brand? isn't that why people called him a maverick. he stood against george w. bush on the torture policy which was also a party call. this was something they all were unified on -- >> you're so smart. i learn more -- boy the way, stood against the party on funding. went against the right wing church groups and everybody, all the ideologues on the right hated that law. >> and climate change, too. he did that, too. >> it's personal. it's nothing more than that. this is vendetta. this is what goes around comes around. >> the more i watch this congress, the more i'm reminded of why the greek people said enough of this parliamentary system. they are blowing republican form of government.
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the reasonable representation of people out there, not their own peaks and weirdnesses. they're not doing their job. this isn't about the public interest. joy, right or left. thank you, joy reid around michael steele. coming up, are you narrow or have you ever been? well, those were the words that defined the red baiting mccarthy era back in '50s. ted kruds demonstrated he'd be comfortable having those words spill out of his mouth. can president obama beat the nra? wayne lapierre's apocalyptic rantings about a world without guns are easy to lampoon, but he may have the support and the votes to block any kind of real gun legislation and themselves the facts. also, illinois has moved a step closer to becoming the next state to approve gay marriage. conservatives are chronically worried right now that they're losing the culture war at least on that front. for once i think they're right. and watergate. water hyphen gate. marco rubio's water bottle moment may be the image that haunts him for a long time.
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a look back at some of the other moments that fairly or not have come to define some politicians forever. and this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ kitt ] you know what's impressive? a talking car. but i'll tell you what impresses me. a talking train. this ge locomotive can tell you exactly where it is, what it's carrying, while using less fuel. delivering whatever the world needs, when it needs it. ♪ after all, what's the point of talking if you don't have something important to say? ♪ and this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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place for politics. well, this is a sad story. we learned today jesse jackson, jr. is being charged with conspiring to spend campaign funds on personal expenses. jackson allegedly conspired to spend $750,000 in campaign funds. sources tell politico those expenses are said to include a $43,000 rolex, home renovations and fur coats among other things. jackson issued a statement this afternoon saying he fully accepts responsibility for his mistakes. politico says prosecutors will recommend a prison sentence of between 46 and 57 months and he had a career ready to go. jackson's wife also pled guilty to one count of tax fraud. i guess this is all a plea bargain. we'll be right back. [ fishing rod casting line, marching band playing ]
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we saw with his nomination
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something truly extraordinary which is the government of iran formally and publicly praising the nomination of a defense secretary. i would suggest to you that to my knowledge that is unprecedented to see a foreign nation like iran publicly celebrating a nomination. >> just watching that reminded me of mccarthy. welcome back to "hardball." that's just a sample of freshman texas senator ted cruz's language this week about defense secretary hominy chuck hagel. here is what really happened at his weekly news conference. the iran foreign minister spokesman was asked about hagel's views on israel and u.s. sanctions on iran. as reuters reported, the spokesman responded we hope there will be practical changes in american foreign policy and washington becomes respectful of the rights of nations. well, not exactly an extraordinary unprecedented celebration of hagel's nomination. cruz, however, used this kind of innuendo and guilt by association that reminds of us another senator, senator joe
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mccarthy. see if you agree however. a mundt after edward r. murrow's march 1954 see it now broadcast in which he exposed mccarthy's tactics the senator accepted murrow's invitation to respond. here he uses a favorable tv review in a communist newspaper as evidence of murrow's connection to communism supposedly. let's listen. >> let's take a 306 seconds or so and see who was giving comfort to our enemies. march 9 containing seven articles and an editorial all attacking mccarthy and the same issue mr. murrow's program has put one of tonight's best bets on tv. >> also that week senator cruz -- this week cruz took another opportunity to tar hagel with innuendo that he may have received, catch this, may have received $200,000 from of all
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places north korea. i don't think north korea has $200,000. let's listen. >> it may be that he spoke at radical or extreme groups or anti-israel groups and accepted financial compensation. we don't know. he could not even say that the $200,000 he received did not come directly from a foreign government, and the inquire this committee asked, have you been paid directly by a foreign government, i would suggest it is every bit as relevant to know if that $200,000 that he's disclosed came from a foreign government. it may be perfectly appropriate. we might conclude that it was benign, it was reasonable, but it is at a minimum relevant to know if that $200,000 that he deposited in his bank account came directly from saudi arabia, came directly from north korea. >> inform his 1953 hearing to investigate the voice of america for con nis infiltration, senator mccarthy tried to discredit state department employee reed harris by
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insinuating his choice of legal representative 20 years earlier made him suspect. let's listen. >> the civil liberties union provide you with an attorney at that time? >> i had many offers of attorneys and one of those was from the american civil liberties union, yes. >> the question is did the civil liberty's union supply you with an attorney? >> they did supply an attorney. >> answer is yes? >> the answer is yes. >> you know the civil liberties union has been listed for as a front doing the work of the communist party. >> mr. chairman, this was 1932. >> i know it was 1932. do you know that they since have been listed as a front for and doing the work of the communist party? >> i do not know they have been listed so, sir. >> you don't know they have been listed? >> i have heard that mentioned or read that mentioned. >> we see some similarities in these two senators. joining me is "the washington post's" nia-malika henderson and senior political writer for the dallas morning news wayne slater
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who is the author of bush's brain. i sat there in which he sits there in that prosecutorial manner throwing out incredible innuendo like unless you tell us where you got that speech money from we can assume it came from north korea. i'm sorry, how do you make comments like that when everybody knows they don't have a nickel to rub together up there. they got nothing. who would you speak to in north korea? just throwing that out so then he has to deny it and then he gets into the game of he denies being an agent 69 north koreans. this is mccarthyism. there's no other word for it. even looks like mccarthy the way he does this stuff. wayne snp. >> well, he does. there's a certain con den session. this is six degrees of separation way of asking questions, an old ploy and if it's done recklessly it can really cause damage. the whole purpose of this kind of six degrees of separation questioning is not to find out something, a piece of information, it's to plant a false idea. maybe you got the money from a foreign source, maybe from north korea, maybe from a muslim cal
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fat. all i'm doing is asking a question. why won't you answer it? it is an amazing approach, and when used recklessly as i think in this early weeks of ted cruz's tenure, i think it invites the idea that he might look a little like joe mccarthy. >> you know, the comparison there, nia, with the way mccarthy connected somebody because they had an aclu lawyer 21 years before or the fact this they even had -- the aclu was never listed as a communist front. they may have defended communists because the aclu will defend anyone's rights. that's what they do. but to make that weird kekts that somehow this guy is a commie, this is what this guy is doing. look at this. because the iranians would like to see somebody who wasn't a super hawk coming in as defense secretary that somehow makes him the best friend they ever had over there. look at the look on his face, that sarcastic look he's got. he looks like mccarthy looked, the way he does this thing.
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go ahead. your thoughts. i'm just trying to document this. >> right. he's a harvard trained lawyer. he went to princeton. he's a debate champion and you can see him employing those sorts of tactics here. i don't think any of this sort of innuendo and sort of guilt by association would fly in a courtroom but i think in ted cruz you have someone who is essentially auditioning to be a jim demint with an attitude. conservatives want an attack dog. he is very much auditioning for that role. he's a tea party favorite. if you look at the national review, they very much like his style. but, again, i think in some ways it certainly reflects what republicans i think are hoping to do over this next week, and that is further chip away at hagel and hope that something will stick and that another shoe will drop. >> let's take a look at another thing. first of all, just in terms of british-style debate, british-style debate you use innuendo, you use rhetoric. american-style debate, guys s about documentation. it's about bringing in evidence. that's how we debate in this
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country. the british do it with flair and all kinds of rhetoric and oratorical devices. that's what he's more like. anyway, both senator cruz and senator mccarthy at times have used media props to make their points. at hagel's hearing, cruz employed a video clip from al jazeera. here he sets up the presentation. >> i'd like to draw your attention to an interview you did in 2009 with al jazeera, and with the chairman's indulgence, if we can play an excerpt of that interview. >> well, cruz played a clip of an al jazeera call-in show in which a caller suggested israel had committed war crimes. well, cruz contends na thank in his response hagel did not refute the caller. during the 1954 army mccarthy hearings senator mccarthy held up the communist daily worker as a prop. let's watch. >> yesterday a senator made an attack upon this committee,
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senator flanders. i find that attack headlined in the communist daily worker, flanders likens mccarthy to hitler. i believe you described the daily worker as the telegraph agency of the communist party. >> senator flanders who was heading the committee investigating mccarthy's tactics is somehow guilty of being a commie again because the communist newspaper reported on what he had said. who believes this, nia? and i'm just wondering, you're a reporter. you don't have to make any ultimate condemnation of these tactics but tactics are tactics. guilt by association is guilt by ascension. the tactics are on the table. i'll go back to the manner of his presentation. he looks like a prosecutor, not a senator. he's prosecuting hagel here for some political purpose. i don't know what it is. i guess it's tea party stuff. >> that's right. i mean, i think he very much understands that this is theater. he is trying to ultimately land
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on fox news. to sort of have a highlight reel there, highlight reel on rush limbaugh's show. i think that is what he's after, and, again, he is finding some footing among tea party folks, among ultra conservatives. that is his goal. normally senators come in, they put their head down, and they sort of follow the rules and follow the rules of seniority, and he is not doing that. but i will say in that clip ultimately john mccain brushes him back and says, listen, we're not here to improve hagel's -- impugn hagel's character and he comes to hagel's defense. >> i got to end this tonight by saying and advice, good advice i think to senator cruz, you're starting off with a great education and great potential. demagoguery is not a great career choice. if you look at all the demagogues from huey long to father could go lynn joe mccarthy and onwards, they don't get along very well very long. make another move, senator. you still got time. nia-malika henderson thank you. and wayne slater.
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up next, marco rubio's big gulp might be the moment that defines the guy. other iconic moments that crippled reputations of politicians in the past. it's all in the "sideshow." it's going to be fun. this is "hardball," the place for politics. defines the guy. mine was earned in djibouti, africa, 2004. the battle of bataan, 1942. [ all ] fort benning, georgia, in 1999. [ male announcer ] usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation because it offers a superior level of protection
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a great cup of coffee should be easy as one, two... well, just one. new single serve cafe collections from maxwell house now available for use in the keurig k-cup brewer. always good to the last drop. this is going to be fun. back to "hardball." now to the "sideshow." when marco rubio made that awkward grash for his water bottle during the state of the union response, i immediately thought, okay, he's now going to forever be known as the thirsty one. it's too early to know if the episode will stick with him years down the line but it wouldn't be the first time. plenty of other politicians became that guy after incidents that might be called insignificant. you'll know what i'm talking about as soon as you hear these names. michael dukakis.
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chances are you're thinking of a photo-on-that tanked literally. dukakis in that tank started off as an attempt to show dukakis was strong on defense. when he visited a michigan factory during his 88 presidential campaign it obviously backfired big time when the footage showed up in attack ads from his opponent george herbert walker bush portraying him, there he is, as not serious on defense. next dan quayle. you might think of a classroom full of kids and a spelling test. >> spell that again. add one little bit on the end. think of potato. how's that spelled? >> i think he was confusing the singular with the plural. it even showed up in an attack ad against his son ben who lost his bid for re-election to congress in november. i don't know if those issues are
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connected. next, howard dean. >> not only are we going to new hampshire, tom harkin, we're going to south carolina and oklahoma and arizona and north dakota and new mexico. we're going to california and texas and new york. and we're going to south dakota and oerg and washington and michigan and then we're going to washington, d.c. to take back the white house! yeah! >> it's not fair, not at all, but that became the moment in howard dean's 2004 presidential run. a rather heroic run actually. this time -- here are the clues. hurricane katrina, the fema director, the 43rd president. >> i want to thank you all for -- and brownie you're doing a heck of a job. fema director is working 24/ [ applause ] they're working 24 hours a day. >> michael brown forever dubbed
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heck of a job brownie. more recently before rubio we had oops. >> the third agency of government i would do away with the education, the -- >> commerce. >> commerce. and let's see -- i can't. the third one i can't. i'm sorry. oops. >> well, let's not forget the classic sarah palin quote either. you can actually see russia from land here in alaska. that soon became i can see russia from my house thanks to tina fey. the list goes on. one moment and you become that guy or gal for the long haul. rubio's water break is now very much in the race. up next, there hasn't been too much or this much momentum behind strengthening gun laws in two decades but can president obama actually get something meaningful done? usual of whatting "hardball," the place for politics. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro.
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i'm hampton pearson with your cnbc market wrap. a mixed day on wall street. the dow up 8. the s&p down 1. the nasdaq losing 6 points. american airlines ceo tom morton will take a seven reince package of nearly $20 million when american merges with us airways. doug parker ceo of us airways will head the new company. and marns are feeling more confident buoyed by signs of new hiring. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball." ♪ too many of our children are being taken away from us.
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two months ago america mourned 26 innocent first graders and their educators in newtown. last year there were 443 murders with a firearm on the streets of this city, and 65 of those victims were 18 and under. so that's the equivalent of a newtown every four months. and that's precisely why the overwhelming majority of americans are asking for some common sense proposals to make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun. >> now, i think that's smart. welcome back. of course, thafers president obama speaking earlier this afternoon in chicago, his hometown, stemming gun violence has become a major second term agenda item for the president, of course. some of the most memorable moments from his state of the union address actually dealt with giving victims of gun violence the opportunity to have congress vote on new gun control measures. they deserve a vote, he said it many times.
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he faces strong opposition from the nra of course despite wayne lapierre's oven apocalyptic rhetoric. enter mayor michael bloomberg of new york who is putting his money where his money is actually. he has started a super pac to back politicians who speak out on gun control and then face, of course, the wrath of the nra. what hope do either the president or the mayor have in this regard? ron reagan is an msnbc political analyst and jim warner is washington bureau chief of the daily news and an msnbc contributor. back to your hometown of chicago, jim. it seems to me since the city congress people, most of them democrats, tend to vote for gun control because they've got it in their streets, the women who -- the mothers have to put up with the gang bang shootings and the kids getting caught in the cross fire on the way to school or even sitting at home, they've got to be for gun safety. the suburbs it seems to me are always in play. suburban people have some rural-type thinking with regard to gun ownership but they also live close enough to commute to the city and are very scared of
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the fact that nearby where they live there's crime in the streets involving heavily armed criminals. it seems to me the president is saying, okay, it's not just a question of schools being hit by a crazy person in this case but the day-to-day threat every friday and saturday night especially around midnight, the next day you read about, it hear about it, crime involving big-time weaponry. it seems like he's really turned the corner on who -- he's trying to get the suburbs it seems to me. >> well, but he also has to look in his backyard and literally he was in his backyard today. his home not too far away from hyde park academy where i was hearing part of that stech. i'm glad you mentioned bloomberg. bloomberg throwing a ton of money, probably $1.5 million so far into the race to ironically replace jesse jackson, jr. who took his plea deal today. you have a couple strong candidates, chris, a white female and an african-american female, who are both pro-nra,
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and don't mistake the possibility that they can effectively appeal to a fair number of african-americans in the city -- >> who are the pro-nra candidates? >> -- such as concealed carry. the pro-nra candidates who is the leading candidate, the one white in a race of 16 candidates, deb halverson, former democratic congresswoman from mostly the chicago suburbs and then a woman named toya hutchinson who was her chief of staff. she's an african-american. bloomberg has thrown a ton of money mostly against halverson, about $1.3 million up to this point is going to be over that. last night for the first time he ran an ad supporting a candidate, not just attacking halverson. that was an anti-guns candidate, perhaps the leading anti-guns candidate in the race a woman named robin kelly. your basic point about the burbs but there's the interesting possibility by throwing all this attention on halverson that maybe you rouse some of those
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folks in the burbs are vaguely pro-nra and have them come out and vote in a sprawling 16-person race. there's going to be low turnout and maybe you win with 16%, 17%, 18%. nevertheless is the fact you saw again this is clearly a fight obama is willing to wage in a big-time battle and behind him now is the x factor perhaps in this issue in american politics and that's michael bloomberg and he's willing to wage it even if he knows in his heart of hearts politically he can only win a quarter laugh or a half a loaf. >> let's go across the country to ron reagan. it seems to me this is a battle of geography. we know there are various parts of the country, idaho, montana, places where you're not going to get a gun safety vote. you're just not going to get one and that includes almost out to california itself. you on the coast, maybe western washington state, parts of oregon, but anywhere east of you guys, it's trouble for anybody trying to stop gun ownership. so my question is where does the president win the battle at least on background checks? something he can put on the wall and say we got this done? >> well, i think that he's winning the battle for the heart
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and soul of the public here. i mean, if you look at the polls, even nra members by a wide, wide margin support universal background checks. nobody is going to sit still for federal agents coming and taking people's guns away but nobody is planning to do that. but everybody supports sensible regulations like universal background checks. now, is that going to happen in today's congress? i don't know. because the nra is really a shill for the gun industrial and that's a $12 billion industry. so you got guys like lindsey graham who is always going to be willing or other senators and congressmen who are always going to be willing to, you know, dance and like pathetic marionettes to the tune that the nra calls. so this is going to be a tough fight and it's not going to happen quickly. >> but there's nothing wrong with being a dancer, is there? >> no, no, but you don't want to be a marionette. >> let me go back to jim warren on that. it seems to me once we get out of your chicago mindset here that there is a fight that can be won.
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we had pat meehan on from delaware county, pennsylvania. i know his politics roughly but some day he may want to run for governor. when you go statewide, you have to worry about the most right wing people in the state. that's the challenge for senators who come from states that may have some urban areas like michigan that has detroit but also has upper michigan. they fear -- you say the polls and ron studies the polls but is this really sl you can poll because it's about passion. the guy out there, moist mostly the guy. that sob, five, seven years ago they voted for background checks. i'm never voting for them, that kind of memory is what i'm thinking about. >> yeah, the passion is an interesting element. on gallup polls when they ask people for spontaneous responses as to what are the big issues in america right now they don't hear about guns very often. it's only when they start asking specific questions what do you think about this, what do you think about that? and in that case then you sigh the sort of big numbers which obama is looking at, mayor
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bloomberg is looking at. and when you talk about some of those governor and state races all these guys are quaking in their boots about an opponent on the right and, you know, that sort of thing in the primary fights in which the nra has some impact but it's going to thus be real interesting and again the think the real x factor is bloomberg. >> you know, guys, it's getting like israel. the politics in israel you could have a moderate government or a centrist government but they have to appeal to the far right on so many issues and the far right, maybe the far left to some extent, tend to run those parties. thank you, ron reagan and john mccain warren. thanks for that reporting from chicago and new york. up next, the culture wars from guns to gay marriage. different sides winning on different fronts i think, and this is "hardball," the place for politics. our first full team gathering! i wanted to call on a few people. ashley, ashley marshall... here. since we're often all on the move, ashley suggested we use fedex office to hold packages for us. great job.
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[ applause ] thank you. and on a protocol note, i'd like to talk to tim hill about his tendency to use all caps in emails. [ shouting ] oh i'm sorry guys. ah sometimes the caps lock gets stuck on my keyboard. hey do you wanna get a drink later? [ male announcer ] hold packages at any fedex office location. all stations come over to mithis is for real this time. step seven point two one two. verify and lock. command is locked. five seconds.
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three, two, one. standing by for capture. the most innovative software on the planet... dragon is captured. is connecting today's leading companies to places beyond it. siemens. answers. we've got a new poll in the massachusetts snoot race. let's check the "hardball" scoreboard. the poll by wbur up there has congressman ed markey out front of fellow congress steven lynch in the massachusetts senate democratic primary. ed is up by seven points. 38% to 31%. both are hoping to replace john kerry who is now secretary of state. the winner will have a big advantage in heavily democratic massachusetts. most of those polled have never even heard of the two republicans running for the seat. we'll be right back. with my friends, we'll do almost anything.
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we're back. it's no secret that politicians pander to their bases all the time. it's the way to win elections. remember when candidate barack obama was skretly recorded speaking to reporters in a well funded crowd in san francisco? take a listen to what he said to the people and this is pandering. >> it's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment
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>> same-sex marriage, either by court decree, legislative action or actual popular vote. now, illinois, delaware and hawaii are also considering legalizing gay marriage, same-sex marriage. and the right's retreat extends to other areas, as well. i'm joined by laura ashburn and a contributor to the daily beast, the human rights campaign. often confused with hillary rodham clinton. let me talk about this, you're on the front all of the time fighting for same-sex rights and gay rights generally. isn't it odd that in a country where we've begun to shift dramatically in that direction -- more than acceptance. it's much more positive. it's just, okay, we'll go along
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with that. at the same time we have a country that still affects gun rights in so many communities. are they different communities? >> i think so. and there's a whole range of issues, you know, that we could talk about from reproductive rights to climate change. but i think when it comes to same-sex marriage, you know, we talked earlier about illinois, which is poised to be the next state to vote in favor. i think the trajectory, both in terms of public sentiment, when i started at hrc, it was 33% of american people supported american marriage, then it was 43, 53, it will be 63% before long. >> even ted cruz says leave it up to the states. >> leave it up to the states. although -- marco rubio says leave it up to the states. it's interesting. it says to me that that is where the republican party is on this question. >> is that dodge ball? >> yeah, you know u it's like the end of "lincoln" when they
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were voting and you looked into those guys' eyes and you knew they were struggling with substance and they struggled with hisz ri. >> part of it is that you don't take away anything from anybody by supporting gay rights. you just leave people alone. with guns, people perceive it as you are going to take something away from me. and that, i think, is the big difference. >> yeah, that's what i was saying. but i think there's a crude symbiosis there. the problem is you see a gun own, you want to leave him alone? you can get shot by that guy, you understand? a gun owner can hurt you. they're not posing any threat to you. in other words, rights end when somebody else is endangered by your rights. >> if you look at the central strength and help us win on this fight for same-sex marriage, people come out with who they are putting a name and a face and a personal circumstance to this abstract fight.
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i think this is what you're starting to see in the gun debate right now. >> well, you eve seen in the media -- >> i agree with you, by the way, they may end up moving to a mecca like san francisco or chicago or something, but they're born in a place where they're recognized and embraced. but the question about guns, how does it connect? >> i think every time you turn oba on the television and you see a real life circumstance. you turn on the president's address, you see the real life circumstance. >> i was just going to say, i think that the media plays a big part in this. you're seeing, when it comes to gay rights, you're seeing happy cuouple couples, you're seeing good, positive coverage. when it comes to gun owners, you're seeing newtown. you're seeing death. >> this is true. >> this is good media coverage. it's reality. >> it is reality. but i think we're not seeing the negative as muchl.
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>> you are seeing, i think, american people are in the workplace, at church and any kind of stinstitutional setting they're seeing gay people being open about who they are, but oftentimes, really understanding the circumstances of the inequity that they face. >> sermons reflect reality. you don't hear sermons against gay marriage. anyway, thank you. you just don't hear them. you should hear more sermons against too many gods. thank you for joining us. and a reminder. i'll be one of david gregory's guests this sunday on "meet the press requests. you can spend a whole sunday morning with me if you're lucky. just kidding. actually, i'm not kidding. one of david's guests is going to be john mccane. can't wait. we'll be right back. my mother made the best toffee in the world.
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Hardball With Chris Matthews
MSNBC February 15, 2013 2:00pm-3:00pm PST

News/Business. (2013) New. (CC)

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